Author Topic: Animal allergy experiences?  (Read 1351 times)

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Offline KittysMum

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Animal allergy experiences?
« on: January 19, 2009, 20:12:58 pm »
Hi all.

Kitty's nearly a year now, and has struggled with atopic eczema for most of her days, on and off, poor poppet. We've eliminated milk, wheat, chick peas, butter beans, tomatoes, avocados and strawberries. We have good weeks, but she's still regularly flaring, and I'm concerned by the amount of steroid creams we're having to use on her (not to mention the fact that she's miserable when she's bad).

They took blood today at the hospital to run some RAST tests; results in 6-8 weeks.

In the meantime, I wonder if anyone can tell me if they have any experiences of eczema or other allergies caused by animal dander? Only we have a long-haired Persian cat called Paws, who is starting to look like a possible contender...

What got us seriously considering animals was that we went to a farm on Saturday, and by the end of the day, we noticed Kitty's face was rashy. By Sunday, her body was flaring all over.

Any stories or experiences? Thanks.

Offline Ennypen

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 20:20:30 pm »
That sounds a possibility - I am allergic to cats - they make my asthma flare, my skin itch and my eyes swell... so sadly your furry one could be a reason why Kitty is having reactions. I am also allergic to other furry creatures such as guinea pigs, rabbits, horses etc.
I have a dog and am ok with her as long as I don't cuddle her for too long or let her lick me on my arms or neck.. then I get a flare of small hives..

The rast test should have tested for allergy to certain animals - if not suggest your concerns to the hospital so they can check properly.

Hugs xxxxxx

Offline Jimbob

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 20:25:52 pm »
James flares terribly when around cats and birds. James is not too bad with dogs as long as he is not around them too long. James also flares when we visit farms.

Kelly



James has atopic eczema, multiple food allergies, asthma and late talker

s_olano00

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 21:47:44 pm »
I have very bad reaction to cats!

The weekend we brought our cat home I had a horrible asthma reaction and I suffered from it throughout my pregnancy. At the end I couldn't sleep through the night because I would wake up with cough attacks.

Everyone told me I was allergic to my cat, but I loved him to death and I never accepted it. How I was convinced? I moved to another country and unfortunately I couldn't take my cat immediately with me (I was planning to) but after a week of being away from him my asthma magically disappeared, so we decided to leave him behind for good with the IL's.

Offline KittysMum

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 07:38:25 am »
Thanks girls - really helpful.

I did go to see a neighbour of ours yesterday who loves cats, and sounded her out about having him and she said she'd give it some thought (but I think she'd say yes)

The RAST tests they're doing have specified testing for horses, cats and dust as well as milk, wheat and various other suspect foods. If they come back with positives to animals that will decide it for us. Though I was literally sobbing last night at the thought of parting with him; we had him long before Kitty when we thought we couldn't have children, so he's been our baby long before she came. It would be terribly sad.

At least I know he'd be happy with the lady we've asked. She's a pensioner and spends her day indoors petting her cats, so I know he'd be very well loved. In fact, once Kitty gets moving (and grabbing and chasing him) Paws may well be happier in a more gentle environment.

Kelly, did James test positive to cats on his RAST tests? (Can I also ask here, does James react badly to bio washing powder? We're trying to work out what's caused the latest flare. Did you also mention once that James reacts badly when you stop the steroid creams too quickly?)

Anyone else got any thoughts? It seems from the books that furry animals are very likely culprits - I'm afraid that our beloved Paws' days with us are numbered. :'(





Offline KittysMum

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 07:40:38 am »
BTW, the thing that makes me uncertain that it's Paws, is that she doesn't have any other reaction apart from eczema - no itchy, watery eyes, no sneezing or runny nose... just the itchy red rash.

Offline Lissybits

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 07:51:56 am »
We did RAST tests last summer as lat Christmas 07 DS had an allergic reaction with terrible hives/rash, swollen eyes and mouth and also an incident last May where he had a massive asthma attack. He was hospitalised on both occasions.

The tests showed 2/6 allergic to cats (nothing else showed up :-\) - we have a cat and a dog.

We then went to England for the summer and stayed with family who have 2 cats. DS had no reaction at all there, so we were really a bit puzzled by it all :-\

We decided (as a result of this) not to get rid of our beloved cat (who incidently, is called Kitty!) - but she tends to stay outside more except in very cold weather.

I don't believe that DS's attacks were a resullt of our cat - but it does sound as if your DD's are :-\

I'll be very interested to hear about your results!

Lis :-*



Offline Jimbob

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2009, 07:52:35 am »
They did not test James for any animals but we know he reacts badly to cats and birds as you can see the flare when around these animals for as little as 10 minutes. He becomes terribly itchy and eczema flares quickly. Dogs are a little better but we still have to restrict contact. If we go to a farm we have to give James an antihistamine before we go in otherwise he looks terrible within 15 minutes of being there. Face goes all blotchy and eyes go puffy and gets really itchy.

I have mentioned that if we stopped a steroid cream quickly that it caused a rebound flare with James. We had to wean James off them each time.

James has to have non bio powdre and we give the clothes an extra rinse and we don't use softeners.

I hope that helps a little.

Kelly



James has atopic eczema, multiple food allergies, asthma and late talker

Offline KittysMum

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2009, 18:36:38 pm »
It does help, Kelly, thanks.

Can I ask how James get on on Neocate? Only that's another possible 'cause'... I've googled it, and found a few mums saying they wonder if their babies' rash is caused by Neocate.

I'm not against re-homing the cat, but I do want to make as certain as I can that he's the problem, before letting him go. It's a big move and we need to both be fairly convinced that he's the problem before we do anything.

Offline Jimbob

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2009, 20:23:57 pm »
James does really well on neocate advance which he went on at around 14 months old. James did ok on the neocate infant but not aswell as the neocate advance I think this is due to the soy oil it contains. For a lot of soy allergic people soy oil does not cause an issue but it does with some. We had not realised that it was causing a problem until he went on the neocate advance and his eczema improved further. At one point we had problems getting the neocate advance due to manufacturing issues so we went back to neocate infant for a week and James was definately more itchy but it did not cause a huge flare. I know that most babies do well with neocate and to be honest the neocate would not be my prime suspect. If you are using a biological washing powder then I think that could be a suspect, also dustmites could be a trigger aswell as cats unfortunately. If the RAST tests show a positve result for cats is it possible for your friend to have Paws for a month first of all to see if Kitty' eczema improves. If it does then you will know it is not a false positive as otherwise you may always wonder if she truly is allergic to cats. I hope it does come back negative though as it would be sad to loose your family pet.

Kelly



James has atopic eczema, multiple food allergies, asthma and late talker

Offline KittysMum

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2009, 06:47:57 am »
That's great advice (as ever!) Kelly, thank you so much. I've changed powder and re-washed all Kitty's clothes and sheets, giving them an extra rinse too.

It was very strange. We grade her appearance each day and record it in her food diary (5 - terrible; 1 - good) and she went to bed on Sunday night a 1.5, then woke up a 4. It was such a sudden flare, I can't help wondering what the cause might have been. The dermatologist said that eczema just flares like that, but I'm not convinced. She thinks that Kitty is sensitive to lots of thing - chemicals, dust, animals, foods. It's incredibly hard to work out what to eliminate next, when it's lots of things potentially causing the problem. (I don't need to tell you all that, of course.)

I'm hoping that the RAST results will point us in the right direction anyway.

Re-homing Paws for a month would be a good plan. That said, I've read that the animal dander can stay in the air of a home for months after the pet's gone. I think if we do go that route, getting the house professionally cleaned (minus chemicals) might be a plan if the funds are there at the time.

Offline Jimbob

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Re: Animal allergy experiences?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2009, 07:33:49 am »
That is probably a great idea. An air purifier may also help. I think you can pick them up at a good price now. It may be worth looking into. We don't have any animals as we planned to have children first and then let them choose a kitten but obviously that will not happen now. In your case obviously it was different and like you say Paws was a replacement for a child and it would be sad to see him go.

Kelly



James has atopic eczema, multiple food allergies, asthma and late talker